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18 Jul 2005

Mother In Law Going TOO Far - HELP!
Am I being unreasonable by being unhappy about my boyfriends’ mother visiting our son in our home while we are at work? Our son is 13 months old now, but since the day I fell pregnant, I have felt resentful towards my boyfriend’s mother as she interferes far too much. She tries to do things her way with my boyfriend and my son, in spite of what my requests have been. She is not at all a nasty woman, and has never been nasty in any direct way – but she is pushy and manages to get her own way by manipulating my boyfriend, or by indirectly using my guilt as a working mother. She also buys our son tons of things (toys, sweets, clothes etc) and then uses that as an excuse to see him while we're working. She makes it difficult to tell her to stop - because I do appreciate what she does for our son, but I also feel she is invading our "space". She once went so far as to phone me and tell me she is on her way to PICK MY SON up and take him to her house - I completely exploded, and my boyfriend told her to leave him at home - but this is the type of thing she does. Our son is home during the day with his nanny, and I am starting to resent her going there while we’re at work. I was against the idea from day one – but I am made out to be such a (insert appropriate word) that I give in because my boyfriend often tells me that I am unreasonable and that his family do not like me because I am always so bitchy about things they think they're entitled to do - like see our son whenever they want, tell us what to spend our money on, tell us where to live etc. Every weekend we ensure we spend quality time with our son, and we also go out of our way to visit his grandparents so they can spend some time with him. We have attempted to visit my boyfriend’s parents (his mother and stepfather) for the last three weekends, but they are always “too busy” or not at home. Then, during the week, my boyfriends’ mother makes her way to our house and phones me from there to tell me she is visiting her grandson because “she never gets to see him”. She puts me in a position where it is impossible to say ‘no’ – because what do I say when she is already at our house? I do not want to start a family feud, but she is going to force me to put him in a crèche so she cannot get to him! I want her to behave like my parents do – make time to spend with him AND us - as a family. I suspect she is doing this because he does not go to her willingly if I am around. I know this upsets her because she then “pulls” him away from me and says things like “Leave your mother alone now” or “Give your mother a break and come with me” and she takes him out of my sight. Am I being nasty to want her to make time for him over the weekends, like my parents do? Being at work, I feel very helpless when she decides to do this, and it infuriates me to the point that I go home in a rage and take it out on my boyfriend. My boyfriend has difficulty telling his mother to ‘butt’ out of our lives - he once told me “they – being his mother & stepfather - make the rules”. He is 31, by the way. I feel like I am fighting a losing battle! This is not the only thing his family does to drive me mad, but currently it is the most annoying thing.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Sounds like this mother-in-law has several neurotic problems of her own, which she is playing out with the child.
Several things I don't understand. What does your bf feel about this, and why doesn't he take steps to stop it ? He has to realize, that if he is to have any form of adult relationship with any woman, let alone as father to a chuild, his mother and pa-in-law must NEVER be allowed to make the rules. Is he a man or a mouse ? He sounds like he's 31, going on 14.
How does she get into the house ? Why not change the locks and instruct the nanny not to admit her ?
here's something creepy about a granny who avoids seeing the kid at weekends or other times when the parents are at home, and sneaks in when you're out.
And change the type of discussion. Switch from We'll come round this weekend and bring the child" --- "No, we'll be busy all weekend", to "What time on Sunday would it suit you for us to come round with the child ?" or even "WHich of the next three weekends would suit you best for us to visit ?"
I DON'T think you are over-reacting, to a creepy old woman who likes to sneak in behind your back, while not welcoming you when it is convenient for you.
If your bf is too cowardly, then it's up to you to set your home's rules. Tell the inlaws pleasantly what the rules are. NO visits while you are out, as that's bnad manners which nobody else would expect or tolerate, either. They are welcome to suggest times WHEN you and bf are free, either to visit you, or to have you visit them, so they can spend time with the child. If you don't draw the line now, she is likely to become increasingly intrusive and invasive.
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